Pioneer – A Long Forgotten Japanese Electronics Giant

I am sure those who are in the 30s remember those days when we could be spending hours in the living room flipping around with the wires connecting between the bulky, enormous size amplifier and the tall, classy floor-standing speakers (back in those days, having a giant sound system is a pretty big deal!)

In the 90s, computer speakers, MP3 and MPEG were deemed to be bad quality(if you think it is getting better nowadays, go dig out your old CD and listen to yourself!) and consumers will spend over 100 bucks to buy CD and LD (DVD comes slightly later) so that they could enjoy a theatre-like experience at home.  (“Home Theatre System” and “Hi-Fi” if those terms have rung the bell!)

Speaking about Laser Disc (LD) or Home Theatre System  ( I am pretty sure people who are born in the early 2000s have not seen this Alien device before!), people who underwent that era will know a very Japanese brand ” Pioneer”.

Source: answers.com :Laser Disc Player. The smaller disc is the standard-size CD

Back in those days, Pioneer sold millions of sound systems to all around the world. Capitalised on their expertise in sound system, they launched satellite TV channel offering karaoke music videos in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Stock (quote 6773.JP) was trading at high 4600 yen.

Time changes. Consumer nowadays are looking for convenience than quality. More compact sound systems that are cheaper and easy to set up has gained popularity among the consumers. If you visit your friends’ house, you seldom see a big sound system in their living room. Likely, you will see a soundbar and TV.

Unsold inventories start to build up in Pioneer’s warehouse due to slow response to market changes incurring tremendous loss for the past few years. Gone with the good old days, stock tumbles to only a few hundred yen.

However, situation starts to get better for Pioneer as the company repositions itself in the electronics sectors. Now, they are focusing on car navigating and sound system OEM services. The strategy has proven to be a good move. Sales is growing steadily for the past few years.

Source: Gizmag.com: Pioneer Text to speech car system

 

Will Pioneer make a comeback? Although the company is able to bring down the loss, it is still pretty uncertain for the company given the fact of intense competition in the car system market. Nonetheless, the industry outlook is pretty promising. Google has spearheaded the commercialisation of the smart car system. With their expertise in the hardware, there could be a chance for Pioneer to make a comeback.

What did you think?

 

 

 

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